It can be pretty difficult to find an AMD-based small form factor (SFF) kit that is compatible with recent ESXi releases. The large majority of these AMD SFF kits all use Realtek for their onboard network adaptor and Realtek does not have a driver for ESXi, nor have they expressed any interests in creating one.
This is also quite unfortunate, as there have been some pretty interesting AMD kits that have been released in the market, but they can not be fully utilized due to the network driver challenges. Prior to the holiday break, fellow VMware colleague Hilko Lantinga, who works in our End User Computing (EUC) division had reached out about a new AMD kit that he had just acquired and has been very happy with after putting it through its paces, especially from a power efficiency standpoint for his updated VMware Homelab.
The system is from a vendor called ChangWang, which I was not familiar with and the AMD kit is the CW56-58, which is based on an AMD Zen 3 architecture (7nm) and what stands out immediately is that this system includes four built-in network adaptors (hint: they are all compatible with latest ESXi 8.0 release)! I asked if he would be willing to sharing his thorough review with the community as this could be a really interesting system and below is Hilko's detailed write-up in his own words.
The following content below is a contribution from Hilko Lantinga.